Technology, Engineering Among 'Hottest' Jobs for New Vets

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By Bill Briggs

Military members swapping stripes for ties, blue jeans or office casual should seek jobs in the fields of technology, operations management and engineering, according to an annual ranking of “Top 20 Hot Jobs For Veterans,” released Monday.

The rundown of leading employment opportunities for new veterans is based on surveys completed by many of the top “military-friendly” employers within the Fortune 1000, said Sean Collins, vice president of G.I. Jobs, a veteran and publisher of the list.

“We literally derive this data from the teams at the very employers that are doing the most to move the needle to hire military talent,” Collins said.

“The positions on the list have broad applicability,” he added. “They focus less on the direct translation of (veterans’) military occupations and more on the intangible skills that all post-9/11 veterans have – team leadership, effective communication, logistics experience, and management of teams and assets.”

Other “hot” career paths for veterans, as ranked by G.I. Jobs, include logistician, customer service management, and manufacturing tech. The published list provides the average national salaries for those positions as well as the names of companies hiring in each category.

The rankings come amid fresh Pentagon plans to shrink U.S. forces and the continuing drawdown of American troops in Afghanistan.

Federal labor figures released Friday showed that, in February, post-9/11 veterans (9.2 percent unemployment rate) continued to lag behind civilians (6.9 percent), though the rate of younger veterans out of work has dropped when compared to 2011 (12.1 percent).

"The employment prospects for post-9/11 veterans are improving,” said Lauren Augustine, a veteran and the legislative associate for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Those gains, she added, are due to initiative such as the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011, which gives tax credits to companies that bring in unemployed veterans and veterans with service-related disabilities.

“But these initiatives do not completely solve the problem,” Augustine said, adding there is a heightened "need for the private and public sector to continue seeing the value in hiring veterans.”